Monday, June 3, 2013

Walks on the wildside #1 - Waterfalls and Inkiltambo

View from the Temple of the Monkeys
Inkiltambo - A Huaca or sacred site close to San Sebastion, Cusco.
Temple of the Monkeys.
Making our way up a stream close
to Tambomachay
Heading for San Sebastion -
we got a little lost
View of the valley leading to San Sebastion.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Corpus Christi

The Saints on their trip to Cusco Cathedral

A Peruvian take on Catholicism

Corpus Christi is a Catholic holiday that has its own slant here in Cusco. It is a feast day celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday and normally involves a Holy Mass and a procession of the sacraments.

In Cusco the procession has taken on the most important role with all the saints from the various districts being carried to the Cathedral where they are put on display for one week before they are returned to the churches.

The tradition of displaying the saints in this form comes from the Catholic church's attempt to subvert the Inca religion. Prior to Inti Raymi (the winter solstice) the mummies of former Inca emperors were brought out for the people to worship and for the Inca priests to enquire of them about the coming year. To maintain the tradition in a form acceptable to the church the mummies were replaced by saints.

A Chiri'uchu stall


Corpus Christi is one of the largest festivals in Cusco and the tradition is to eat Chiri'uchu, a plate of cold meats, toasted corn, torrejas (pancakes), fish eggs, seaweed and cheese.

Plaza San Francisco is completely set aside for the sale of Chiri'uchu on the Wednesday and Thursday of Corpus Christi and is the best place to try the dish as well as enjoying a healthy amount of Cusquena beer.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bridge out at Pisac

The bridge at Pisac has been closed for repair work that is expected to last up to a month.

In 2010 the bridge was damaged during the floods that famously saw Machu Picchu closed; since then a temporary bridge has been in place. It is not clear whether a new permanent bridge is being put in place or repairs are being made to the temporary bridge.

Any tourists who are planning a Sacred Valley tour should note that visits to Pisac will most likely not be possible as the return trip to Pisac via Urubamba is too far for one day.

If you have a Sacred Valley tour booked you should enquire with your agency about alternatives to Pisac.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A walk through Cusco

Plaza Regocijo - a relaxed spot just off the main plaza

Parades are common in Cusco, this one was to celebrate Primary Education Day

Many women dress up in their traditional outfits to make money by posing for photos.
You can tell this woman is from Chincero from the braids in her hair.

A passion flower up in San Blas. 

Cusco's main plaza - the parade is still going on